You are in the final stretch of your pregnancy! You may feel like you've been pregnant forever and you are beyond ready to meet your little one. As you approach your final weeks of pregnancy though, there are some final to-do list items that you'll need to complete. Among them, one of the most important is to pack your hospital bag. 39 weeks is technically considered full term but you'll probably want to start packing your hospital back at the start of your last month of pregnancy. Even if you don't actually pack it, having a list ready and knowing what to put in it when its time will help you to be prepared. These 10 items are some that moms believe to be the most needed.
Toiletries – In the event that you get the chance to take a shower, you’ll want to be ready! Make sure that your bag has all of the necessary items like body wash, lotion, shampoo, and deodorant. You’ll also want to make sure that you bring a toothbrush for both you and your partner as well as toothpaste.
Snacks – While you may want to pack chocolates and Doritos, you should plan to pack something more practical. Labor can be long and intensive and you’ll want to fuel your body rather than pack it with foods that will make you crash. You’ll also want to pack a lot of small snacks rather than large filling ones that might leave your feeling sluggish.
Phone and phone charger – You’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days at a minimum and you’ll want to make sure you have your phone to send pics of your baby once he or she is born! You’ll also want to make sure to pack your charger for when your battery is running low.
Nursing Bra and Pads - You’ll only need a nursing bra or top if you plan on nursing. You should plan on bringing pads though whether you nurse or not. Even if you plan on formula feeding, your body will not get the memo and will begin to produce milk for your baby. Using nursing pads helps to prevent leaks through to your clothing.
A comfortable change of clothing – Think first and second trimester of pregnancy when you’re packing clothing. As much as you hope that you’ll fit into your favorite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans, you probably will not. You might also have tearing if you have a vaginal birth or a scar if you have a c-section that will make that type of clothing uncomfortable. Err on the side of caution by packing something stretchy and soft
Lip balm – The air in hospitals is known for being dry. While this may not bother some women, you never know until you’re there. Even if dry air doesn’t normally bother you, being in it for an extended period of time may make it so that it does. As an extra precaution, make sure to pack your favorite lip balm in your hospital bag.
Car seat – You’ll need this necessity to actually leave the hospital. Depending on the size of your baby, your hospital may even require your newborn to pass a test where they sit in the car seat for a period of time before you can leave. Even if you don’t have to take this test, you’ll need a car seat to bring your baby home in. Take the time to install it in your car and figure out how to use it before your baby is born to make for a more seamless exit from the hospital!
Lanolin – If you plan on nursing, this is a must! Nursing your baby is natural but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. One of the most common complaints about nursing is the pain that comes with it. As you and your baby get the hang of it and as your breasts get used to it, the pain will go away. In the early days, however, a heavy dollop of lanolin will help to ease the pain.
Clothes for baby – You’ll want to pack a super cute outfit in case you want to have newborn pictures taken at the hospital or using your own phone. You’ll also want to bring a normal outfit to bring your baby home in. Keep in mind the weather and make sure to pack something super light for the summer. If you’re giving birth in the winter months, you want to pack long sleeves as well as a pram for your baby. In the spring or fall, make sure to pack an extra layer on top of their outfit to keep them warm.
Cleansing face wipes – You packed your toiletries but between exhaustion and excitement, you may not actually get a chance to take a shower. Packing some cleansing face wipes can help you get through this time without a shower. Pack enough to give your face a wash and any sensitive areas like under your arms that may need it.